Biography of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)

Louis Pasteur.

Wise, chemist and French biologist, born on December 27, 1822 in Dole and died in Villeneuve-l' Étang, Marnes-la-Coquette. He was the founder of modern bacteriology. The son of a Tanner established in Arbois, Jura. In 1847 he received his doctorate in chemistry and physics at the Ecole Normale in Paris. He taught physics at the Lycée de Dijon, the auxiliary of chemistry, which in 1852 became Chair occupied in Strasbourg. Two years later he moved to Lille as Dean of the Faculty of science; and in 1857, he moved to Paris, where he held the position of director of studies at the Normal School, a professor in the school of fine arts, Professor of chemistry at the Sorbonne, the Secretary of the Academy of Sciences and the direction of the Pasteur Institute, who served until his death.

His first research took place during their stay at the École Normale, where he studied the tartaric acid and showed the relationship between the presence of hemiedricas faces in a crystal of the substance and its action on the polarized light. Two active variants of tartaric acid managed to isolate the racemic acid, optically inactive, separating the crystals of the racemates of sodium and ammonium, which have hemiedricas faces directed respectively to the right and to the left. Of this it deduced, correctly, that molecules should be intrinsically counter-scarps, idea of fundamental importance that would be later completed by Van't Hoff, with her Pasteur had just usher to stereochemistry. From 1857 to 1863 he published a series of papers on alcohol, butterfat, lactic fermentations, etc., that showed that fermentations were produced by a microorganism and that each fermentation corresponded to a specific ferment. The presence of agents microbial fermentations of lactic and alcoholic embarked to Pasteur on a series of experiments which led him to deny irreducibly all spontaneous generation of life. Pasteur presented his theory and until today has been being accepted by all scientists. He introduced pasteurization, in order to eliminate the pathogens present in the wine, milk and other food products. In 1865, his teacher Jean Baptiste Dumas, asked him to study a disease that was raging in an insect, the silkworm. After its research showed that the disease of silkworms was cured, it was contagious and hereditary. It applied the cell selection to combat it, thus saving the decimated sericulture.

In 1879, he noted that hens cholera Bacillus culture had undergone a process of aging or attenuation after a period of storage, so that it was ineffective trying to induce the disease in chickens by injection. Animals that had been inoculated, after certain time intervals showed resistance to the disease even in cases of fresh crops. Pasteur availed themselves of this idea to manufacture a vaccine against anthrax, the overall scheme worked well and Pasteur made a demonstration on a farm before an audience of farmers, which confirmed his theory. In 1880 he began studying the rage, injected saliva of an animal infected in dogs and pigs, which soon were infected and observed that the spinal cord of a troubled body of rage, if remained in dry air for a few days, was an optimal attenuated vaccine for use as protection and treatment for other animals. In 1885 he experimented with a boy who had been bitten by a rabid dog and it survived. In 1886 2.671 patients, of which only twenty-five died followed the new treatment. This discovery, which sank to the adversaries of the new doctrines, enshrined the glory of Pasteur. Human medicine and veterinary medicine, surgery, obstetrics and hygiene were transformed by their discoveries and, thanks to him, the chemistry and the fermentation industry, entered new paths. Pasteur obtained in life, among other awards, the Legion of Honor.